Lifestyle hotels are entering a period of tremendous growth, but they need to be careful about what made them popular. That was the message from three lifestyle hotel managers at the Skift Hospitality & Marketing Summit on Wednesday.
“We don’t know how fast we can grow or how fast we can grow,” said Jane Mackie, senior vice president of the InterContinental Hotel Group. “But we will only grow in the right locations.”
According to Martina Luger, Ennismore’s chief marketing officer and Amber Asher, president of Standard International, there may be no need to slow down. The two don’t believe that their brands have to be small to stay “cool and hip”.
While there is no consensus on what lifestyle hotels are, there is a feeling that they are becoming more diverse in the post-pandemic era. Luger expects more lifestyle hotels to be used for coworking, a point Mackie makes.
Lifestyle hotels are growing rapidly, but to be successful means looking beyond typical amenities such as good design and beautiful restaurants. A poll shown during the summit found that 68.18 attendees responded to the question “What is the defining characteristic of lifestyle” with “experiences and events”.
Asher was not surprised by this answer.
“We’ve been into boutique shops for a long time and it’s all about the experience and what we offer our guests,” she said. “Eating and drinking is an experience. How you interact with the design is an experience. Working with the minibar is an experience. “
Lifestyle hotels may be better able to sell the experience to potential guests if they find opportunities to grow. Coworking could be one way lifestyle hotels can market themselves after a pandemic.
“Coworking is definitely a new area where we’re growing rapidly,” said Luger. “We will see that more people use the space as they work part-time from home and part-time in the office.”
She added that companies may need to buy land in the future.
Wellness is another area in which lifestyle hotels can expand. Mackie said her company has been able to give some of their brands a wellness ethos, not even in the traditional lifestyle space, but they need to enhance that experience with the customer journey.
“It’s not just about the gym and spa,” she said. “It’s about exercise, nutrition and exercise and sleep. Many of these lifestyle decisions use this experience and our experience with lifestyle brands to improve the overall experience. “
Lifestyle hotels, however, face an important dilemma. How can they expand without losing the “cool and hip factor” that made them attractive?
“That’s a good question,” Asher said as Standard International expanded rapidly.
“It’s not easy. For us it really is the team,” she added. “We have our brand standards. We don’t have a mandatory view for every hotel, especially for design reasons. We’ll probably be 20 to in the next five years Have 25 standards. It’s really about finding the right people, who know the things that are important to us, who are like-minded and who are immersed in the area and culture of the place where they are. “
Sounds like a plan.
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